TOMMASO MOTTOLA – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Here comes the Sundance and the Storyboomers
I salute the 22nd edition first of all by expressing my sincere gratitude to our young staff. Thanks to them the Capalbio Film Festival is evolving towards a new format that will be perceived already starting from this year. Together with the many guys and girls and the volunteers, I thank our fantastic supporters – on closer inspection all protagonists of the Italian scene – who, with their faith and dedication, sound the charge and have strengthened our will to grow and renovate ourselves!
Over twenty years of history the Festival has narrated the culture of the planet through short films and has explored brevity as a form of language. An entire generation of young authors, actors and technicians made their debut in Capalbio, and many are the masters who have given their support to this new generation. Today Capalbio is a consolidated hub of young talents in the art of storytelling and in the format of brevity. But creativity and the world are rapidly changing, and the digital revolution, almost completed by now, is about to revolutionise cinema from how we’ve known it up until now. This year, for the first time, the Festival doesn’t have the word short in its title, even though short films remain at the heart of our path. And Capalbio becomes the frontier of the forthcoming cinema, aiming for three guidelines: internationalise the festival, offer better opportunities of training to the new talents and work on new formats.
We can say that we’ve hit the bull’s eye with the arrival in Capalbio of one of the most famous festivals in the world, the prestigious Sundance Festival founded by Robert Redford. The Sundance Institute chose Capalbio to host – the only one in Europe – the first Italy | Sundance Institute Screenwriter Workshop, that – from July 8th to 11th – will give the unique chance to 8 european authors to develop their projects under the guidance of international tutors. With over 200 projects submitted, the success has been astonishing, and even more striking has been the attention of the American curators towards our cinema, as well as the presence of 4 out of the 8 of the selected authors being Italian, and finally the presence of 3 authors who have debuted or won awards in Capalbio.
We are also proud of the presence, amongst the jurors, of two remarkable professionals of international cinema, Luca Bigazzi, who will dedicate his Master Class to the theme of the Festival and Michal Leszczylowski, who made his debut with Tarkovsky and then went on to edit a vast number of international successes. Next to them are the great journalist Bruno Manfellotto, a friend of Capalbio’s, the experts Alix Davonneau from France and Matthew Takata of the Sundance Institute, Johnny Palomba, known to many as the camouflaged critic, and finally two new faces of Italian cinema, Sara Serraiocco, in the jury, and Tatiana Luter, godmother of the festival. We are also proud of the awards that will be assigned this year, namely the Work Safely, Reset DOC and ADCI Awards.
The toughest and most exciting game that was played is the path towards the Festival’s theme. To start with, we have invented a neology: Storyboomers. With this word Capalbio gives a name to a generation that is about to overwhelm us with an explosion of stories and formats, revolutionising the concept of cinema du réel day after day.
Thanks to the spread of elementary systems of video recording and editing (micro videocameras, smart phones, drones and go-pros) millions of digital born kids, but also men and women of every age, are taking over the language of cinema and every day their hard drives are loading up with millions of films, images and sounds, all in high definition. The step from this to creating and uploading on the web an incalculable number of works is getting shorter and shorter. Festivals will be the first ones to be swept away by live recorded stories (selfie movies, autofiction, instamemories?), products which up until now have belonged to the field of writing.
Capalbio dedicates its 22nd edition to this Big bang of the forthcoming cinema. This is the Storyboomers generation.
While we attempt to define which works to tag with this word, we discover that Storyboomers hides a great surprise: the phenomenon transcends any age – not just digital born! – putting an end to the word digital divide: nowadays we can become Storyboomers at any age, or maybe we already are and we haven’t quite realised yet, overwhelmed by this uproar of files in HD, generated by our small and friendly tools.
Millions of athletes of all ages filming their exploits with the go-pro; and tourists around the world shooting 360 degree panoramic views with their smart phones – the result of sweat and toil of technicians, and of families that digitalize their photographic memories; billions of photograms ready to use on YouTube. Where will this all lead to? The decision to host a writing workshop of a very high international level should not be seen as incidental:
The only way to cope with this cinematic Big Bang in Capalbio is to truly exploit the centrality of story-telling. Without a captivating story no High Definition would convey us any emotion.
I cite lastly the presence as our juror of a great writer such as Maurizio Maggiani, a presence that stimulates us to reflect on the theme and to cross the boundaries of cinema. With him, with Federico Pontiggia and with other guests of the Festival we will interrogate on the finale and not only on the enormous change that is happening in documentary cinema.
Storyboomers also touches upon – and not subtly – a phenomenon of an epochal cultural weight: millions of people every day transfer an incalculable number of documents on icloud – video, audio and text. In a few years many could start telling history through the direct testimonies of these millions of “sources”. Cinema is already doing it. It isn’t a coincidence that some of the most advanced countries (i.e. France ahead of all) offer to hold the contents that today are piled up in the hard disks of millions of families in their National Libraries – ‘non places’ even more at the time of Wikipedia. What awaits us is a fascinating prospectus: that all of this reality that is recorded every day in live recording, that those multitudes – our Storyboomers – who record the history of us all with simple gestures, lay the foundations for the creation of another History, the one that hasn’t been told yet, the History written by the people, well-known to be different from that written by the winners.
These days the hashtag #storyboomers spreads quickly through the Internet: find out what is happening and help us define this word, with which we are trying to name an existential experience that by now fills our daily lives.
CRITICAL AND JOURNALIST
Vertical lines that connect, diversify, stigmatise the New York that once was, the Barletta that is now and the work that doesn’t change and kills yesterday like today, while the fascination leaves to the scrapping of the look (Triangle): the Vestal virgins without the pantheon who break time and customs, and ask the elderly about their mothers and fathers (N-Capace). What do Costanza Quatriglio and Eleonora Danco present if not the reproduction of reality and the production of the senses, that which is invisible to the eye? and what storytelling, what narrative action do they pursue? We call it reality cinema 2.0, and it is that to which the make-up tutorials of the young Israeli girls aim for (True Colors), as well as the man with the camera 2.0 (Go Pro), a.k.a. the bengalese vagrant who tells his story for love (Sexy Shopping), the bear who takes the photographic and ontological place of a by-gone grandfather (Bär). What does it mean to tell a story today about a reality that has more and more media coverage if not to reject the intermediary, and welcome uncertainty?
Laura delli Colli
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION ITALIAN FILM JOURNALISTS
There’s a red thread that this year binds, in the name of change, the research of the most attentive festivals to the new. The workshop that Capalbio launches this year in synergy with the Sundance Institute – the heart of this edition – becomes, symbolically, its final knot, uniting its tradition of attention to the language of the younger cinema to that sense of research, of scouting and discovery, that has marked in a special way the most recent steps of its journey.
The attention given to the festival this year by cinema journalists reflects first of all the curiosity for the special encounter on the new that its project proposes, in a moment when following new proposals (not in Italy but across the world and, above all, between screens and the web) finally seems like a feasible bet.
Storyboomers, digital born, selfie-movies? If we try to inflect in a more day to day language the key words of this edition, maybe in a more traditional and ‘ancient’ way we can say that this year Capalbio offers a journey without luggage towards a surprise destination, crossing, in just a few days, an Ocean towards a world that is a lot closer than how it has been always represented on the geographic map of cinema. With only one certainty for who has decided to share the journey: knowing that the arrival will be at sunrise, a sunrise of innovation and transversal languages beyond the normality of a cinema that has smelled of celluloid for over a century, and that has now the taste of a reality to tell. This reality is told with the glance of who, in a world where everyone films, takes pictures and tells stories, wants to win the bet of a future that has already begun: writing the small and great passions of tomorrow’s cinema with the apparently ‘coldest’ equipment that technology has given to us. Will it really be the case?